Monday, December 1, 2014


My plate at the Williams. Way too much good food!

Pumpkin cheesecake and banana pudding (a Southern stable along with
  macaroni and cheese)

The Elders picked up a couple watermelons they found growing on the
side the the road. They weren't ripe so the boys had fun throwing them
around in the backyard. This is Landon Dains cutting into one.
Happy Missionary Thanksgiving Ya'll
Thanksgiving Dinner 2
The Elders being bored. - Elder Searle (left ) Elder Payne
Sister Kloepfer and Sister Murray
The tree we decorated for Sister Giffen
Over 300 snowmen!!

This week was full of service and celebrating the holidays.

Tuesday we helped some new members rip tack board out of their house so they could put new flooring in.  That was a fun service project! 

Wednesday was MLC.  It was the first full one for both me and Sister Kloepfer.  President Craig, Sister Craig, the Assistants, and the Sister Coordinators all give trainings.  We will take what we learned and present the information next week in Zone meeting.  I get to train on being a leader.  It should be fun! 

Thanksgiving was amazing! We had dinner with the whole Williams Family at noon. Being with their family is just like being at home! Everyone brought something yummy to share! The Elders and the YSA Sisters were there too. Elder Searle, Sister McCleary and I were all there for Thanksgiving last year too! After eating our fill the sisters, Summer Dains, and Sister Kloepfer and I went to a nursing home to visit some elderly people. Most of them had been taken home for the day, but there was one lady in the cafeteria that we talked to. Sister Kloepfer suggested we sing Silent Night. It would have been great, but we started way too high and we're practically screeching by the end! We were also able to visit a man named David. He actually asked us a lot about what we do and he accepted a Book of Mormon! He was very nice!

Then we went to Thanksgiving dinner: round two. The Elders were here, but dinner was running an hour late so they had to go to another dinner before eating. Linda was feeding us, she is Miracle’s mom. She was sweet enough to turn on one of the old missionary videos about our purpose, we kept trying to talk to her visiting relatives about it, but they weren't all too interested. Linda called us all over to stand around the table and to hold hands and pray.  I ended up standing between Sister Kloepfer and this huge Black man. We all held hands and then Linda said, "Wait we need so and so over here." And so we were all standing there holding hands and I couldn't decide if it was worse to keep holding this man’s hand or to let go!  Haha, so awkward!  I think I've held hands more on my mission than I have my entire life!  And the South is probably the only place you can randomly stand in a parking lot or on someone's porch and hold hands praying!  That dinner was… unique :)  Haha, we had our first experience of collard greens... not a tradition I want to keep up...  We were so full that we just got a little of some things, but Linda noticed we hadn't gotten some of everything so she brought us everything we had missed. Yea...

Friday Sister Kloepfer went to the temple!  I got to serve in a trio for the day with Sister Clay and Sister Hendricks.  That was a blast!  We divided the time between the Ft. Caroline ward and the Arlington ward. It was fun! We got to teach Pappi--the Sisters met him tracting one day and he claims he was baptized but there is not a trace of his records anywhere!  Sister Hendricks and Pappi had a lovely conversation about their dreds (dreadlocks)!  Haha!  I love serving in the South!  

Saturday we did some service for nonmember friends of Pete Weber.  We put up Christmas lights on their house!  Best service project ever!  Then for lunch we drove out to Jax Beach to surprise Sister Hendricks for her birthday!  We stopped at Publix to buy a banana cream pie (her favorite) but they didn't have one!  We went with a cookies n' cream cake instead and it ended up being her favorite cake!!! It really made her day.

That afternoon the Elders set up a family history booth outside of Luca's Italian Restaurant (Luca is good friends with Pete so it worked out perfect!) Things were going slow so they asked us to make a sign for them to wave.  We stopped by Sister Pennington's and she whipped one up for us!  We went and helped the Elders for about an hour.  Around 4 people said they wanted to learn more that day!  The only problem is that you run out of things to yell while waving a sign for family history really fast.  Please let us know if you have any great ideas!!!

Then we had another fun service project!  Decorating a tree for Sister Giffen!  She is the sweetest!  Sister Kloepfer and I are loving the holidays!  They fed us dinner afterwards!  Then we went to the Penningtons for ward coordination.

Sunday our ward choir sang “For the Beauty of the Earth” and I played flute with them.  It came together really well!  Miracle with the limited time I have to practice!  

Can you believe it is December?  I am so excited for Christmas!  I always love the spirit that is in the air, and I am excited to be able to talk to people who are thinking about Christ EVEN more than usual! 

 I know that sharing the gospel brings the greatest joy we can receive.  If you will do these two things this December I know you will have an added measure of the spirit in your home this Christmas.

1-      Watch the new Christmas video put out by the church and share it with a friend who needs a reminder of their Savior's love.

   2- Please pray for the Florida Jacksonville Mission to have a White Christmas!  Not white with snow necessarily, but white with children of God dressed in white ready to be baptized!  We are short of our goal for 1,000 souls and we know there are many who are still out there ready to receive this gift: the Savior!  We feel the power of your prayers!

I love all y'all!  Have the best December!!!  
Sister Murray

P.S. Transfers are next week!  I'll talk to all y'all next Tuesday!